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On September 17th, 2016 the history of Merced was changed forever as the city's very first comic con came to the Merced County Fairgrounds and put Merced on the geek map of Central Valley.

The first year convention surprised fans with a rare West Coast appearance of actor Gil Gerard best known for portraying Captain Buck Rogers on the popular TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Gil was joined by his co-star Felix Silla who played the robot Twiki and also known for his roles in Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of Jedi and Battlestar Galactica.


Attendees also got to meet actors Jimmy Hunt (Invaders from Mars), Jeffrey Weissman (Back to the Future Part II and III), Stephen Costantino (Gamorrean Guard in Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of Jedi ).


Comic book fans had a chance to commissions and sketches from renowned comic book artists Joe Rubinstein (Wolverine), Chris Marrinan (Excalibur, Wonder Woman), John Heebink (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD), Ethen Beavers (Samurai Jack, Justice League Unlimited, N.E.R.D.S., Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures, Indiana Jones Adventures), Matt Hebb (DreamWorks' Home), Mark Badger (Batman: Jazz, Spiderman Online), Steve Sherman (Kobra, Silver Star) and underground cartoonist Bruce Simon.

Another event highlight was an arcade room where attendees could play many classic games.  


Overall, the first ever California Republic Comic Con, Merced's official comic con, was a day of fun for fans of superheroes, comic books, movies, TV shows, toys and collectibles.  

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